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Christina Nassayan Pesco, 28

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“I have found my niche,” says Christina Nassayan Pesco, 28. “I really love what I do.” The enthusiasm she brings to her role as assistant director of alumni relations for Iona College is clearly paying off. Iona’s annual Scholarship Award Gala “broke historical revenue records” after Pesco joined the event-planning team in 2015, earning $1.2 million for scholarship funds that year and $1.5 million in 2016. While acknowledging the hard work that goes into fundraising, Pesco says her job is made easy by Iona alums’ desire to give back to their school. “They believe so strongly in the mission of Iona College and want to pave the way for a new generation of graduates,” she explains. She should know: Pesco earned a master’s degree in public relations from Iona while working there full-time, graduating with honors and winning a departmental award. Driven by the fact that she is making a real difference, Pesco welcomes her long hours. “When students speak at alumni events and explain how the scholarship fund changed their lives,” she explains, “there isn’t a dry eye in the house.”

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